Apathy Jack writes:
Conversation between me and the new Art teacher.
“Thanks for the muffin.”
“I didn’t give you a muffin.”
“No, but you gave one of my Year 9s a muffin for being good in class, so she came and gave it to me.”
“She knows about my muffin tax.”
“Look, I’ve trained my Year 9s up well, and the first lesson they needed to learn was the one about the muffin tax. There’s got to be some advantage to teaching, and I figured out early on that it was never going to be the looks of gratitude on the innocent faces of education-hungry urchins as I nurtured in them a lifelong love of literature. So I decided that if I could get the odd muffin out of it, the job would all be worthwhile...”
I’ve been in a bad mood lately, so, of course, I’ve been rereading Roomanitarian by Henry Rollins. Today, however, I realised that wasn’t helping, so I’ve cut out the negative influences, and removed all Rollins from my presence.
To whit: I’ve lent all of my Rollins books to students.
Yes, that does help.
Well, no, alright, it almost certainly won’t help their moods, but they’re teenagers – they were going to feel like that anyway...
While I’ve never liked the effort of getting to know new students at the beginning of the year, it does have its advantages. They all know me by reputation, so I don’t have to prove myself, as do the new teachers, but I do quite like the looks I get from the ones who haven’t been in my class before.
Like today, when my Year 12s were a bit distracted. It was a last period on a hot day, and they had been set a fairly demanding task. Attention wandered, and quite a few went off task. I couldn’t be bothered raising my voice to get their attention (like I say, it was the end of the day, and it was very hot – I was as tired as they were) so I just clambered to the top of one of the desks and started talking normally.
Once I had said my peace, one of the students new to the class asked me why I was up there.
“To get your attention.”
“Aren’t there better ways?”
“You’re listening to me, aren’t you?”
A student came to see me this morning. This is one I’ve written about a few times before – one I thought was lost, but who we got back.
She came to tell me that she wasn’t coming back after all, and to explain why. Her reason was a good one – good enough that I am willing to discount the many, many hours of work and worry I and others have put into her return.
Normally, I am detached – my kids’ pain hurts me, but they’ve come to me because I’m an adult, and I need to be together for them. Not today though. I kept it together, but it took so much effort.
My heart is broken by this one.
A couple of periods later, an ex-student who left last year came back to see me. This is another one I put a lot of work into, to no avail.
She is coming back. She came to visit me to tell me that the Dean had put her into my class.
This place fucking kills me. Good thing it usually saves me as well...